Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office recently announced that, starting today, residents no longer have to wait for a special event to drop off their unused or expired prescription medicines. Permanent drop-off containers will be located in the lobbies of the Sheriff’s Administration Building and the North District Station.
To make sure prescription and over-the-counter drugs don’t end up in the wrong hands, the LiveFree! Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Pinellas County (LiveFree!) and Operation PAR are partnering with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office to sponsor one of the drop-off containers.
Prescription drugs’ ending up in the wrong hands is a grave concern in Pinellas County. According to the Florida Youth Substance Abuse Survey, in 2010 9.2% of Pinellas County high school students and 5.9% of Pinellas County middle school students reported using prescription pain relievers on at least one occasion in their lifetime. In 2009 in Pinellas County, there were 558 deaths where a “tracked drug” was present in a decedent at the time of death when the Medical Examiner performed toxicology testing. There were 130 decedents where oxycodone was identified as the cause of death and 55 descendents where the drug was identified as present at the time of death. There were 55 decedents where alprazolam was identified as the cause of death and 101 descendents where the drug was identified as present at the time of death. .
If you would like to set up an interview about this issue with a member of the LiveFree! Coalition, please call 813-503-5658.
The LiveFree! Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition consists of members of the community coming together to address alcohol and other drug use in Pinellas County among young adults and middle and high school students by creating more systematic, environmental strategies and promoting the use of evidence-based prevention programs. LiveFree! encourages community advocacy, involving youth, law enforcement, parents and businesses in coalition activities, and promoting public awareness of substance abuse in Pinellas County. For more information on LiveFree! or to get a map of participating Operation Medicine Cabinet locations in Pinellas County, please visit http://www.pinellascoalition.com